Health

Facial attractiveness is predicted by parental income during childhood.

2886494000_6a5e11603d_o.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Photo: flickr/stewtopia

If you're like most people, you probably think that looks are mostly genetic--either you're genetically "blessed" with good looks, or you're not. But apparently it's not as simple as that. According to this study, facial attractiveness in high school yearbook photographs increases with paternal education and parental income, "with the latter effect being stronger for female subjects." In other words, rich kids tend to be more attractive, and especially girls. Whether the parents themselves being rich was related to their looks (which might make the effect genetic after all)...well, we'll leave that for another study.

Effects of parental socio-economic conditions on facial attractiveness. "Socio-economic conditions during early life are known to affect later life outcomes such as health or social success. We investigated whether family socio-economic background may also affect facial attractiveness. We used the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (n = 8434) to analyze the association between an individual's parental socio-economic background (in terms of father's highest education and parental income) and that individual's facial attractiveness (estimated by rating of high school yearbook photographs when subjects were between 17 and 20 years old), controlling for subjects' sex, year of birth, and father's age at subjects' birth. Subjects' facial attractiveness increased with increasing father's highest educational attainment as well as increasing parental income, with the latter effect being stronger for female subjects as well. We conclude that early socio-economic conditions predict, to some extent, facial attractiveness in young adulthood." Related content: What is the average survival rate of pop stars?NCBI ROFL: Unhappy yearbook photos herald crappier lives.NCBI ROFL: Italian supermodels are hot. Romans with big noses are not.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.